Fallen Memories - [18]

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Fallen Memories - 18

My shoulders sagged with the weight of the exhaustion currently pushing against my body. Colton's words circled through my head and it took a moment for me to catch on. When I finally did, I shot upright and scrambled to get out of the tangle of blankets around my legs. I tripped in the process, banging my knee on his expensive-looking coffee table. He grabbed my waist, holding me up as I got my bearings and yanked my hair out of my face. I didn't even care at the moment that I probably looked like a mess—with my hair in a knot, and my oversized t-shirt barely covering mid-thigh.

"Jane's home?"

Colton nodded. "She showed up around three in the morning."

My eyes narrowed ever so slightly. "How do you know this?"

Instead of answering me, Colton reached into his pocket and pulled out his cellphone. He pressed a few buttons before handing it over. Silently, he watched as I scanned its screen.

Your counterpart's friend is home safe—for now.

R

"R?" I questioned. My mind was still fuzzy—almost too fuzzy to function at this hour. Through the fog and confusion swamping my brain, something clicked. My eyes snapped open wide and Colton nodded slightly. "Raziel."

I slapped a hand against my forehead, digging my fingernails into my scalp. The sting of the pain helped to clear my senses a bit. "I'm going to take a shot in the dark here and assume it has something to do with his instinctual guardianship senses or something."

Colton nodded again, giving my nose a light flick. "Bingo."

I took a short moment to process this information. "I have to go see her."

"You have school in an hour."

"We can make it quick. I need to see her." I started toward the front door. I had so many questions racing through my mind. It was getting difficult to sort my questions into mental files—and to keep track of which ones went where. Most importantly, I had to make sure she was okay. Sure, she'd be shaken up, but—

"Ivy," Colton said. I froze, glancing over my shoulder. I was a bit surprised to see a smile on his face. It was one-hundred percent smirk. I frowned.

"What?"

"You want to show up looking like that?" His eyes traveled down my body as he used his hand to gesture. I looked down. My cheeks grew warm, as well as the back of my neck. Oh, right. I was currently wearing nothing but a t-shirt. Flustered, I shook my head and headed back toward the stairs.

Once I was showered and dressed, all of which took ten minutes, we climbed into the Mercedes. While he drove, I bounced my leg up and down. A small part of me feared that Jane would be suffering through what I had been for the past few weeks. Memory loss. Right now, we had no idea as to who or what could've kidnapped her. I was hoping to get some answers from her—if the police haven't already. The drive was short, and soon I found myself following Colton up to her front door. A few feet down the road, a police cruiser sat, parked against the curb. The officer sat in the cruiser—his eyes locked on us. I tried to ignore his prying stares.

Jane's mother answered the door. When she saw Colton, her mouth puckered. I quickly slipped around Colton, making my presence known. Her eyes shifted toward me and she visibly relaxed.

"Please, keep your visit short, dear," she said. "We're all shaken up over this. I'm sure Jane is going to need some time to...cope. The outlook isn't too clear right now."

Judging by her words, my chances of getting a sufficient amount of answers out of Jane were slim to none. I couldn't back down just yet; not until I'd had a go at it myself. Before stepping into the Liryca's household, I jerked my thumb back at Colton.

"Friend of mine. He's concerned about Jane."

Jane's mother smiled—though it looked forced. Nodding, she let us pass and closed the door. I flew up the stairs, automatically turning to the left; first door. Years of friendship with Jane under my belt had me accustomed to her. We were in-tune in more ways than one.

Curling my hand into a fist, I knocked just once. I leaned my forehead against the cool, smooth wood. Colton's presence behind me was both calming and reassuring.

Receiving no response, I twisted the knob and slipped into the room. Jane, sitting on her bed, looked up. At the sight of me, her blue eyes grew misty.

"Ivy," she croaked, her voice hoarse. Something broke inside of me. Before I could lose control, I sat down next to her and drew her into my arms.

"What happened?" was all I could manage to ask. Against my shoulder, I could feel Jane shaking her head. Her curly blond hair tickled my ear as she shook her head from side to side.

"I can't..." she whispered. She sniffled, swiping at her nose with the back of her hand.

"Why not?" I asked her, trying to keep my voice as gentle as possible.

She only shook her head. I lifted my eyes to meet Colton's. He looked pained, standing there with his hands jammed into his pockets. He could see for himself that we weren't making any headway. Jane finally lifted her head, peering into my eyes with her watery blue ones.

She hiccupped, "It was just...horrible. He...he told me not to say anything."

I opened my mouth to press on with who when the look of sheer horror in her eyes stopped me. Through her sad eyes flickered a montage of several emotions: pain, fright, and something so distanced and off that my chest constricted.

I took her hands in mine, closing my fingers around her ice-cold palms. Her hands trembled under the contact.

"He won't hurt you. I'll make sure of it." By me, I really meant Colton. With my guardian angel by my side, I could do just about anything. We could protect Jane—first, though, we had to catch this rat by his tail. Colton's eyes searched mine and I wondered if we were thinking the same thing. He tilted his head toward Jane's door—indicating that we should go.

Her hollow eyes were locked on her hands—unseeing, probably. I gave her cold, clammy hand a squeeze.

"Call me if you need me."

She barely lifted her head in a nod. I got up and followed Colton out. We passed her mother—who smiled a pained smile—and climbed into the Mercedes.

I turned to Colton with a grim expression. "You really think Raziel had nothing to do with this?" I asked him, lifting my backpack onto my lap. I had no motivation to go to school and sit through eight hours of it. Whoever was playing with us had just upped his game. How could we know for sure that they wouldn't go after Jane again—permanently? Or one of us next time? They'd sent Colton and I a message by kidnapping Jane. They made it clear that they had the upper hand at the moment, toying with us while remaining anonymous.

How much longer did we have? How much longer did they plan to remain in the dark? With this new game of theirs, I guessed we didn't have much time less. Either Colton would need to heighten his search, try to find Daven and get through to the Archangels...or we would have to be ready to fight.

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